Volunteer Dies at Channel Islands National Park

Joe Wysocki at Grand Canyon National Park. | Photo: Courtesy NPS

A volunteer died at Anacapa Island yesterday afternoon when he was boarding a boat bound for to the mainland. Joe Wysocki, 65, fell off one of dock's three ladders into the water, sustaining a serious head injury in the process, according to the National Park Service.

"We don't know the actual cause of the fall -- that's under investigation." said park spokesperson Yvonne Menard. She said it was a calm day on the waters and that a staffer was next to him as the captain looked on. "We have very clear safety protocols for loading and unloading."

Joe Wysocki filming on Anacapa Island. | Photo: Courtesy NPS

The federal park agency, Ventura County Sheriff's Department, and coroner are all investigating.

Wysocki, who worked as a park naturalist in the mid-1990s, started volunteering as an audio visual technician and camera operator in 2011. On Wednesday, he was working on the park's live hike program, an interactive experience for people at the visitor center in Ventura, online, and in classrooms.

"He was very much a part of our team at the park in our education division," said Menard. "He was just a really wonderful guy. He was the kind to share [his skills] readily... We're going to miss him."

About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCETLink's Editor-in-Chief of Blogs, where he oversees website editorial and advises on projects. When he does write, he mostly covers local government, environment, and the outdoors.
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